Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding tuberculosis in two districts of Punjab, Pakistan

M U Mushtaq, M A Majrooh, W Ahmad, M Rizwan, M Q Luqman, M J Aslam, A M Siddiqui, J Akram, M A Shad
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2010, 14 (3): 303-10

SETTING: Pakistan ranks eighth among the world's highest tuberculosis (TB) burden countries, and Punjab province accounts for 60% of TB cases nationally.

OBJECTIVE: To explore knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding TB in the general population of two districts of Punjab province, and the effect of socio-economic determinants.

DESIGN: In a cross-sectional survey, subjects aged > or =20 years were randomly selected using multistage cluster sampling and interviewed. A knowledge score was formulated based on nine questions. Bivariate analysis using the chi(2) test was employed to independently correlate socio-economic factors with understanding of disease and information sources. Attitudes, practices and information sources were also compared with TB knowledge.

RESULTS: Forty-two per cent of the surveyed population had good knowledge about TB, which was associated with better education, high income and good housing (all P < 0.001). Despite the fact that the majority (82.2%) knew about correct treatment, less than half (48.8%) were aware that diagnosis and treatment were free. Intended health-seeking behaviour was determined by better education (P = 0.011), good housing (P = 0.004) and good knowledge about TB (P < 0.001). Television (69.4%) and health workers (43.6%) were the main sources of information.

CONCLUSION: Socio-economic factors should be considered when designing communication strategies and prioritising TB prevention and control interventions.

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